Shakedown Street, Wang Dang Doodle, Candyman, Minglewood Blues, Bird Song, Hell In A Bucket-> Day Job China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Women Are Smarter, Terrapin Station-> Drums-> The Wheel-> Throwing Stones-> Not Fade Away-> One More Saturday Night, E: Revolution
July 22, 2009
Another lifetime ago
I remember the long drive up from VA, the significant hugeness of the interior of the Carrier Dome, the clarity of the sound. But what I remember most, was being sucked out the door as I exited. One second I was inside, the next about 20 feet outside, thinking "WTF!".
November 11, 2008
It's gonna be alright
At the time many upstate heads complained of ths show because of the repeats between this one and Lake Placid.The two shows on their owns are remarkable and instead of being competing siblings they are true soul mates. The Dead had a love affair with Upstate NY and played many historical shows. This is one of them as is Lake Placid. I only saw four shows on this tour and the event was St. Stephen. I was luckly enough to witness the Hartford show, which I think is easily the best of the three. During the break I told a buddy after that amazing first set, that Stephen would happen. My friends and I decided to make the trek late in the week. We all piled into one of my best friends father's work truck,his Dad's sharpening business proudly proclaimed on each side. There were no seats & windows we all sat on the floor and it was listening to music and great conversation the whole ride up.Remember the boom box? The other big surprise was that The Band was opening and this was sort of a Watkins Glen's reunion.When you first walked into the Carrier Dome it is huge, so huge that the Dead's two semis are parked next to the stage on either end. The Band played a very spirted set which everyone grooved on and we were all singing along to their classics, it was all happening. Coincidently this night was a very psychedelic night for the majority of the us, and I have to say of all my years of bus riding this night was truely unique. Sunshine? I think so. Yes they did sound check it. Does anyone have that one? Ok onto the Dead's show. Shakedown was rolling and toally grooving, Phil missed the cue by a half step but that was the only mistep for the entire night and Phil made up for it big time.It was all you can want from an opener, long and funky. The band meant business. Wang Dang,they played it much slower then, was hot and this version slithers and is ranchy. Really good. By now you should notice that the X factor is in full force. The band is totally in sinc and the songs are playing the band. The way we all like it. Candyman is one of the best versions I know of, the beauty of this audience recording is Phil is totally audible as a result of the enormous Carrier Dome, and he soars on this version. Jerry voice is beautiful and his solo along with Phil is entralling.Minglewood is hot and Brent plays some happening B3 organ, actually Brent is amazing this entire show and it features some of his best playing and vocals. He is so present and accesents everthing being played and drives it as well too, he adds a greater depth to each song. Bill and Mickey are also amazing and this recording really does them justice. Ok first Lake Placid repeat is Bird Song, who is complianing? It is much more fun I think and is right on, not too spacy but very clear and melodic.Bucket, second repeat, was still a "new song" but you would never no it by this version.They rip it up! Jerry's guitar work is full of all those nuances and wildly exciting solos that mark a great show. They go right into Day Job, and yes we all got the joke, but this version is a total carousel ride. Jerry extends the bridge and plays an amazing solo with the boys all pumping it along, totally joyous.Set II you can here the Crazy Fingers tease, I did see it in Ricmond, but Jerry wants to get it realing so we get an amazing China Cat, this version is truly one of the best and the transition into Rider is breath taking with Jerry singling the arrival with some cool licks. The vocals on this version are sweet and they build up to sparkling heights. Then Bobby says " We are goin play a Saturday night song" we get maybe the best version of Women, which has Jerry's playing squeezing out every note and he is soaring.Once again Phil is amazing too.Then we get that cool breath of calm, we needed it, with the opening cords of Terrapin. A super version with Phil and Brent really stepping up.Jerry's is in total command. No long jam afterwards but Bobby stayed on stage with Billy & Micky and you get a cool trio, with them grooving. The drums are excellent and I remember this woman sitting in front of me dancing her heart out. Very celebratory, and that cool beam Mickey would play it was wild. Of coarse with space we all want to hear "that" song again and they do toy with the theme but instead we get a heart felt Wheel and it is great, the audience was totally grooving, listen to Phil on this one. During the transition you hear another slight Stephen tease, or that moment when it could of happened, one Head actualy calls it out. Throwing Stones was still a new song and they played it out much more than they would in latter years. The jam in the bridge is totaly raging and mind bending. Bobby is playing his heart out and the return to the final verse is one for the ages. NFA brought it all home and they play it out big time! Brent on the B3 is super and they bring it down at the end and the audience is clapping and then Bob springs it on us, Saturday Night.They don't want the night to end just yet. We get a rolicking version with everyone having a great time. It is once in a blue moon when the encore takes you by total surprise, and this one did. Granted they busted this out on this tour but to hear Revolution for the first time was joyous and appropiate,it was the time of Reagan, and we get a beautiful version. I remember the band being bathed in gold lights and having a blast. It was gonna be alright.What an end to an amazing tour! I was one, along with my buddies, to take my sweet time leaving a show, especially after having your mind blown away and it was quite loose so we just chilled in our seats. We eventually made it out to the cool autum night, the air fresh and vibrant our souls and faces aglow from another magical night. My friends and I were about 30 feet from the exit doors, we were still laughing and reflecting on how our minds were blown when all of a sudden the wind picked up out of nowhere, I mean really picked up like 30 miles an hour, for a like a minute we did'nt know what it was and we all looked at each other and collectivly thought "what the fuck?" We all turned to that Dome and blowing out on the wind from the inside of the Dome were beautiful Dead Head girls in long skirts and flowing hair twirling and laughing like pixes.We all just took that joyous spontaneous moment, it was perfect. Then we realized that they were letting the air out of the inflatable roof, it was just another trick from this wild night and we all busted out laughing until we were in tears. Yes the Dead did it to us one last time, Steal your face right off your head! We had a long slow ride home listening to the Live from the Fillmore, The Mother's of Invention, and laughing our asses off and sharing in the joys of friendship " We are not groupies!" We got back to Connecticut at dawn with memories to last a life time. I hope you enjoy the tale.